by Stephen Downes
Dec 02, 2016
The Value and Price of Open Online Courses
Stephen Downes, Dec 02, 2016, OEB2016, Berlin, Germany
If open online learning can be equivalent or even superior to face-to-face education, what does this mean for the value and the price of MOOCs for institutions, for learning communities, for learners and for the creation of new knowledge. Oanel notes are avauilable as an MS Word document here.
This was pretty much the theme at the Online Educa Berlin conference: "We have all the elements needed to make online courses succeed, but institutional inertia at well-established universities stymies progress." But it's not just here; the theme seems to be lurking in the background. "If politicians and educationalists continue to insist that modern nations need an ever-growing army of graduates, it seems inevitable that the virtual university will become a significant player before long."
Tony Bates summarizes Lourdes Guardia's Next Generation Pedagogy: IDEAS for Online and Blended Higher Education. which summarizes emerging developments in online pedagogy with the acronym IDEAS: Intelligent, Distributed, Engaging, Agile and Situated. According to Bates, the elements of the acronym "are a useful organizational framework for summarising what in fact is a wide range of emerging online practices." Probably the most interesting part is the list of "emerging online practices" (and sometimes the institutions associated with them), for example, "Flexibility and personalisation (Capella University, USA); Innovation as a teachable topic (MIT, USA)"
This is a very basic guide and if you know nothing about modifying open documents, this is a good place to start. But it focuses almost exclusively on the different technical formats (and a bit on licenses) and not at all on how you might adapt contents for specific purposes. The main thing I got from this is that PDFs are hard to modify.
Another update from Janwaar Castle, which encourages youth development through skateboarding in rural India. It describes and presents Janwaar's first skateboarding challenge, and discusses the level of support the project has started to receive from a wider audience.
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